Photo by Stijn Dijkstra
Famous for being a mythical island in Plato’s dialogues, Atlantis became a well-known kingdom that stood the test of time. Let’s dive into several theories about Atlantis surged throughout history.
Plato’s description of Atlantis is likened to a land mass larger than Libya and Asia Minor combined. It’s said to be located in the Atlantic Ocean beyond the Pillars of Hercules. The kingdom is said to have a highly advanced culture with a constitution eerily similar to Plato’s “Republic.” Poseidon, the god of the seas, guarded Atlantis against invaders and made his son the ruler. The kingdom was also named after Atlas.
You might have first heard of this underwater kingdom through the Disney animated movie “Atlantis: The Lost Empire.” It has been referenced in numerous films and novels with fantasy adventure as the main theme. This lost city was also one of the main features of the book ‘Man-dar of Atlantis’ by Kenneth J. Sousa. Many love to fantasize about what the lost kingdom was like because of the speculations surrounding its structure before it got ruined.
Uncovering four theories about this mythical kingdom
Atlantis was once a continent that sunk into the Atlantic.
Speculation arose that Atlantis used to be a real place that somehow disappeared in history, hence the lack of concrete facts to support the claim of its existence. Until the late 19th century, writers like Ignatius Donnelly began to argue about this ancient world’s credibility. He even backed it up with potential evidence containing metallurgy, language, and the ancient culture at the time.
Let’s say the Atlantic Ocean has a hundred feet in depth. Donelly’s theory states that the continent sank by floods and the constant shifting of the Ocean. And now, with the growth of modern oceanography and plate tectonics, several scientists still abide by this theory. Plato’s placement of Atlantis in the ancient map of the mid-Atlantic Ocean made it even more plausible.
The Bermuda triangle was responsible for Atlantis’ sinking.
After Donnelly argued about the lost city, several other theories about the sinking of Atlantis emerged (pun intended). For instance, Charles Berlitz wrote books focusing on paranormal phenomena. He believes in the authenticity of Atlantis being a continent located in the Bahamas region that unfortunately fell victim to the Bermuda Triangle.
Artificial walls and streets were discovered along the Bimini coast. However, it was dispelled immediately by scientists saying that those were natural beach rock formations that happened to resemble modern structures.
Antarctica used to be Atlantis.
The book Earth’s Shifting Crust by Charles Hapgood claims that Antarctica once had a moderate climate, which might have caused them to assume it was Atlantis. Hapgood also derived his theory from shifting the Earth’s crust about 12,000 years ago. The tectonic movements displaced the continent, hence Antarctica’s current location.
The logic of this theory is that the previously temperament region was once home to an advanced civilization. As for the destruction of Atlantis, it was said that the ancient city was buried under tons of crashing ice. All the theories mentioned so far have the same common denominator: a firm understanding of tectonic plate movements.
Atlantis is a fictional fantasy land that Plato made up.
Of course, there would be cynical scientists and historians drawing conclusions that Plato’s account of the ancient city did not exist – that it was merely a work of fiction. The skeptics argued that the Greek philosopher was spewing out an ideal civilization with a dramatic demise, ultimately serving as a cautionary tale for humanity.
Other than Plato’s theory, no further solid proof of Atlantis’ existence from the ancient Greek texts survived. And even with the tremendous advancement of science and in-depth research, particularly in oceanography, this is the first time anyone has found a sunken kingdom on ocean floors.
The possibility of Atlantis being real
Even with the advancement of science, most of the Ocean remains unexplored. This increases the notion of continually believing that Atlantis may secretly thrive in the shadows. Ocean explorers, however, dispel the theories about Atlantis after discovering various shipwrecks, including the renowned Titanic.
However, the skepticism didn’t completely erase the what-ifs surrounding the lost kingdom. The lore was so carefully structured, leaving little room for doubt. Atlantis’ logical explanation perfectly aligns with the numerous floods and volcanic eruptions throughout history. Even the destruction of Atlantis contains relevant information that matches the natural events in the past.
According to some experts, the theories about Atlantis aren’t necessarily about the physical aspect. Still, the legend serves as a lesson about moral and spiritual people who lived in a highly civilized and advanced society. This utopian civilization opened doors for various discussions on how the fallen kingdom came to ruin by giving in to its greed, pettiness, and corruption. It is believed the gods were angry at the people of Atlantis for abusing the paradise created for them. As an act of retaliation, the gods ultimately hailed their wrath via one terrible night of fire and earthquakes.
Atlantis remains a subject of multiple fascinations. Whether it’s real or not, it’s something worth looking into. What made this interesting is the mental image of a romantic underwater paradise that met its untimely fate, making its theoretical existence idealistic.